"Do not be afraid that I am off my head. All that I can say is that someone positively inspires me – ... more than this: someone enters me. It is not I who talk and write: it is something within me, my higher and luminous Self, that thinks and writes for me. Do not ask me, my friend, what I experience, because I could not explain it to you clearly. I do not know myself! The one thing I know is that now, when I am about to reach old age, I have become a sort of storehouse of somebody else’s knowledge... Someone comes and envelops me as a misty cloud and all at once pushes me out of myself, and then I am not "I" any more – Helena Petrovna Blavatsky – but someone else. Someone strong and powerful, born in a totally different region of the world; and as to myself it is almost as if I were asleep, or lying by not quite conscious, – not in my own body but close by, held only by a thread which ties me to it."-Letters of H.P. Blavatsky, Letter I
In 1865, while living in the Caucasus, HPB had also undergone a similar experience. Sinnett told how Madame Blavatsky described the process:
"Whenever I was called by name, I opened my eyes upon hearing it, and was myself, my own personality in every particular. As soon as I was left alone, however, I relapsed into my usual, half-dreamy condition, and became somebody else (who, namely, Mme. B. will not tell). (...) When awake, and myself, I remembered well who I was in my second capacity, and what I had been and was doing."
-Sinnett 1886, 147-8
HPB also described to her sister the process by which this "somebody" inhabited her body. She explained that this duality had been taking place since the time when her leg had almost been amputated, when she had been completely healed by a negro, at the request of his "Sahib":
"He has cured me entirely. And just about this time I have begun to feel a very strange duality. Several times a day I feel that besides me there is someone else, quite separable from me, present in my body. I never lose the consciousness of my own personality; what I feel is as if I were keeping silent and the other one – the lodger who is in me – were speaking with my tongue. (...) But what’s the use of talking about it? It’s enough to drive one mad. I try to throw myself into the part and to forget the strangeness of my situation. This is no mediumship, and by no means an impure power; for that, it has too strong an ascendancy over us all, leading us into better ways. No devil would act like that. ‘Spirits’, maybe? But if it comes to that, my ancient ‘spooks’ dare not approach me any more. It’s enough for me to enter the room where a séance is being held to stop all kinds of phenomena at once, especially materializations. Ah no, this is altogether of a higher order! But phenomena of another sort take place more and more frequently under the direction of my No. 2."-Letters of HP Blavatsky, Letter I
To her aunt Nadya, she reaffirmed both the cure and the duality that she was experiencing:
"When my leg had to be operated (they wanted to operate when the gangrene was developing), the "host" healed me. He was all the time standing near an old negro and he put a little white dog on my leg. Do you remember I wrote to you about this incident? Now he will soon take me and Olcott and several others to India forever, only we must first organize the Society in London. Whether he occupies some other bodies than mine, I do not know. But I know that when he is not here – sometimes for many days – I often hear his voice and answer him "through the sea"; Olcott and others also often see his shadow, sometimes it is solid like a living form, often like smoke; still more often not seen but felt.
-HPB Speaks I, 224
"I am learning only now to leave my body; to do it alone I am afraid, but with him I am afraid of nothing."
John King – HPB’s "Sahib"
It is important here to note that HPB told her aunt and her sister that this "somebody", "host", "No. 2", or "Sahib" – the one who entered her body, that made her lead a double life, that taught her to leave her body, and in whose presence she was "afraid of nothing" – had also been responsible for curing her leg!
Therefore, the "host" or "Sahib" was John King – her "only friend", to whom she was indebted "for the radical change in my ideas of life, my efforts and so on", the one who "has transformed" her (Solovyoff, 247). When we see John King in the role of HPB’s instructor, in charge of her training and development of her powers, we begin to understand better the debt Madame Blavatsky recognized.
In addition to being a member of the Hierarchy with this specific role of training and instructing HPB in the Occult Sciences, John King was to a great extent the author of the message HPB was bringing to the world, at least during the initial phase of her public work. As quoted above, HPB said that "It is not I who talk and write: it is something within me (...) The one thing I know is that now, when I am about to reach old age, I have become a sort of storehouse of somebody else’s knowledge".
-Letters of HP Blavatsky, Letter I